Top technician shares his story

Jan. 1, 2020
Adam Ketterl, Gates/ASE Technician of the Year, shares his thoughts on certification, vehicle maintenance services he likes to perform and how he teaches consumers.
Adam Ketterl Gates Automotive ASE technician of the year automotive aftermarket automotive parts

Motor Age: What services do you enjoy performing on cars?

Ketterl: I think my favorite thing is doing diagnostic and electrical work. It really makes me think and it feels really good when I figure out a tough problem. There are times, however, when it is very frustrating. At that point it is nice to do a routine service like brakes or an alignment, or whatever needs doing. I repair just about anything on a vehicle, so it is great to get variety.

Motor Age: Why is being ASE certified important to you?

Ketterl: Being certified is important to me for several reasons. It helps my customers to know that they can be confident in my work. It makes me more marketable to employers. I should be able to get a better paying job and have more choice of where I want to work. It is also important to me to help prove to myself that I can be the best. It makes me feel good and proud of what I do. It is obvious to me why everyone should be ASE certified: better pay, better jobs, more productive and you know you're capable of high quality work.

Motor Age: What do you like to teach consumers about their vehicles?

Ketterl: I think that fluid maintenance is very important and one of the most neglected things. I think it is cheap insurance to have good clean fluid in every part of the vehicle possible. I also think that people need to try to get to know their own vehicles the best that they can. Even if someone is getting on my nerves by asking questions, I still try to encourage it. The more they know about their vehicle, the better they take care of it.

Motor Age: What made you interested in going into automotive service?

Ketterl: I grew up in a rural community and my parents farm, so I was exposed to all kinds of mechanical things. I built anything I could when I was little. As I got older, I helped my dad on the farm. He had gone to school in farm mechanics, so he would do most of the repairs around the farm and I got to help. I think what really hooked me though was Dad's '57 Chevy. As soon as I was old enough, I began tinkering with and driving it. Then there was no question. I wanted to go to college to learn about working on cars.

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